Worcester Sex Crimes Lawyer
A sex crime is a loaded term that encompasses so many different types of actions, many of which people are alarmed to learn constitute a sexual offense under the law. If you have been charged with a sex crime, you may feel shocked, angry or humiliated. A compassionate Worcester sex crimes lawyer can help alleviate some of the burden associated with such a charge.
While there are no guarantees your sex crimes attorney in Worcester will be able to get the charges against you reduced or dismissed, just knowing you have an experienced legal advocate in your corner can provide some peace of mind during this challenging time.
Types of Sex Crimes in Maryland
In Maryland, sex crimes fall into one of two categories: rape, which requires vaginal intercourse and sexual offenses, which include all other sexual acts, like anilingus, oral sex, anal intercourse and object penetration.
Rape is further categorized as first degree and second degree rape. First degree rape involves engaging in vaginal intercourse without a person’s consent, by use of or threatened use of a dangerous weapon, inflicting or threatening to inflict serious injury on the victim, raping the person with the assistance of a third party, or committing the rape during a burglary.
Rape in the first degree is punishable by up to life in prison, under Maryland Code 3-303(d)(1), and if the victim is younger than 16, by a sentence of life in prison without the possibility of parole.
Second degree rape includes vaginal intercourse without a person’s consent under force or threat, or if the victim is mentally incapacitated or a child under age 14 and the accused is more than four years older than the victim.
Rape in the second degree is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, and if the victim is a child younger than 13 and the accused is at least 18 years old, there is a mandatory 15 year minimum prison sentence, under Maryland Code 3-304(c)(2). Rape is one of the most serious offenses you can be charged with, and you will need the help of a Worcester sex crimes lawyer right away.
There are four degrees of sexual offenses, depending on the severity of the sexual act or contact, and whether violence was used. First and second degree sexual offenses carry the same penalties as first and second degree rape. The only difference is that the sexual act does not involve vaginal intercourse.
Third degree sexual offenses involve sexual contact, as opposed to sexual acts, but require the same level of threats or force as a second degree offense. Sexual contact is defined under Maryland Code 3-301 (f)(1) as the intentional touching of a person’s breasts, buttocks, genitals, or anus with the goal of sexual arousal, gratification or abuse of either party.
Sexual offenses in the third degree include some situations commonly referred to as “statutory rape” – sexual acts or sexual contact with a child incapable of giving consent, when the victim is 14 or 15, and the accused is older than 21. Third degree sexual offenses are felonies punishable by up to ten years in prison. If you have been accused of a sexual offense after engaging in a sexual relationship with an underage person, you will need to consult an experienced Worcester sex crimes lawyer.
Fourth degree sexual offenses include all other nonconsensual sexual acts or contact, and statutory rape when the victim is 14 or 15, and the accused is four years older, but younger than 21. These offenses are punishable by up to one year in jail and $1000 in fines for a first offense. Subsequent offenses carry harsher penalties.
Regardless of the degree of sexual offense you are charged with, a sex crimes lawyer in Worcester can put forth a defense on your behalf that can highlight any inconsistencies in the investigation or weaknesses in the evidence against you.
Other Sexually-Related Crimes
Attempted rape or sexual offenses, sexual abuse, incest, beastiality, sexual solicitation of a minor, stalking, harassment, and using electronic or telephone communications to harass are all serious crimes that require immediate consultation with an experienced Worcester sex crimes attorney.
Contacting a Worcester Sex Crimes Lawyer
If you have been accused of committing a sex crime in Maryland it’s important that you understand what specifically you are being charged with, and take the steps necessary to create the strongest possible defense. By contacting a Worcester sex crimes lawyer you gaining an advocate with experience within the legal system who can look at the your charges and help you minimize the harm. Call today to set up a consultation to discuss the legal options at your disposal.